Non-fullerene acceptors for organic photovoltaics: an emerging horizon
Although fullerenes and their derivatives, such as PCBM, have been the dominant electron-acceptor materials in organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs), they suffer from some disadvantages, such as weak absorption in the visible spectral region, limited spectral breadth and difficulty in variably tuning the band gap. It is necessary to explore non-fullerene electron acceptors that will not only retain the favorable electron-accepting and transporting properties of fullerenes but also overcome their insufficiencies. After a decade of mediocrity, non-fullerene acceptors are undergoing rapid development and are emerging as a hot area of focus in the field of organic semiconductors. Solution-processed bulk heterojunction (BHJ) OPVs based on non-fullerene acceptors have shown encouraging power conversion efficiencies of over 4%. This article reviews recent developments in several classes of solution-processable non-fullerene acceptors for BHJ OPVs. The remaining problems and challenges along with the key research directions in the near future are discussed.